FG Pledges Quality Healthcare as IVON Clinical Trial Ends

Segun James

*IVON clinical trial: Health Minister Pate, Prof. Afolabi speak on improving investment in public health

The Federal Government, on Thursday, reiterated its commitment to improving quality of governance and leadership of hospitals and regulatory capacity of agencies under the Ministry of Health.

This, according to it, includes improving population health outcomes, promoting medical industrialisation and improving health security/investment in public health.

Minister of Health, Ali Pate, who was represented by the Chief Medical Director (CMD), Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Prof. Lanre Adeyemo, spoke at the close-out ceremony of IVON Clinical Trial, held in Lagos State.

IVON, which stands for intravenous versus oral iron deficiency anaemia in pregnant Nigerian women, is a significant milestone in global efforts to reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality.

A researcher, professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Lagos (UNILAG), Bosede Afolabi, was awarded a $2.5 million grant by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the research.

The minister, who noted that the outcome of the trial would change clinical obstetrics practice and ultimately reduce maternal and child morbidity and maternity, said: “Anaemia in pregnancy is highly prevalent in African countries. Globally, anaemia is the commonest medical condition affecting pregnant women and in Africa, about 50 per cent of all pregnant women are affected. In Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, about three in five pregnant women have anaemia.

“The condition, which is mostly caused by iron deficiency, is associated with increased risk of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality. It is recognised as a major global health problem with an indicator dedicated to tracking reduction efforts of anaemia in women of 15 to 49 years of age, including pregnant women, added to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2020. Therefore, IVON clinical trial is a significant milestone in global efforts to reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality, and the contributions of IVON trial team cannot be over-emphasised.”

On her part, Prof. Afolabi said IVON is the largest clinical trial done on the topic worldwide and was coordinated by the Centre for Clinical Trial, Research and Implementation Science (CCTRIS) at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos.

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